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About this Poem 

This poem was originally published in Happy Ending: The Collected Lyrics of Louise Imogen Guiney (Houghton Mifflin, 1909).

The Light of the House

Beyond the cheat of Time, here where you died, you live;
You pace the garden walk, secure and sensitive;
You linger on the stair: Love’s lonely pulses leap!
The harpsichord is shaken, the dogs look up from sleep. 

Here, after all the years, you keep the heirdom still;
The youth and joy in you achieve their olden will,
Unbidden, undeterred, with waking sense adored;
And still the house is happy that hath so dear a lord.

To every inmate heart, confirmed in cheer you brought,
Your name is as a spell midway of speech and thought,
And to a wonted guest (not awestruck heretofore),
The sunshine that was you floods all the open door. 

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on June 9, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on June 9, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Louise Imogen Guiney

Louise Imogen Guiney

Guiney, a poet, essayist, literary critic, and biographer, was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1861. 

by this poet

poem
What sacramental hurt that brings
The terror of the truth of things
Had changed thee? Secret be it yet.
’T was thine, upon a headland set,
To view no isles of man’s delight,
With lyric foam in rainbow flight,
But all a-swing, a-gleam, mid slow uproar,
Black sea, and curved uncouth sea-bitten shore.
poem

Through all the evening,
All the virginal long evening,
Down the blossomed aisle of April it is dread to walk alone;
For there the intangible is nigh, the lost is ever-during;
And who would suffer again beneath a too divine alluring,
Keen as the ancient drift of sleep on dying faces blown

poem
I hear in my heart, I hear in its ominous pulses
All day, on the road, the hoofs of invisible horses,
All night, from their stalls, the importunate pawing and neighing.

Let cowards and laggards fall back! but alert to the saddle
Weather-worn and abreast, go men of our galloping